Competition / anti-trust issues.

Copyright Consultation: Strange bedfellows and the not so Special 301 report

There are now only 4 days left to make your voice heard in the 2009 copyright consultation.

I was about to write about the policy and statistical laundering which can be seen with not only the 1996 WIPO treaties but also the Special 301 report. This is a report which special interest groups have managed to convince the United States government to abuse to pressure other countries into making radical backward-facing changes to their Copyright law.

I then read an article about a statement by Bell Canada about policy which I agreed with. Given I disagree with the phone and cable companies on most things, it is pretty special for me to find an area where I agree.

>> Read full article on the IT World Canada blog.

Google Inc. Terminates Advertising Agreement with Yahoo! Inc. in Canada

Read full press release from the Competition Bureau:

Yahoo! Inc. and Google Inc. have confirmed that they are abandoning a proposed search advertising agreement in Canada, resolving any potential Competition Bureau concerns about the impact of this proposed deal on Internet search advertising in Canada.

Just say no, HMV tells musicians

The recording industry likes to include the decline of the traditional music retailers in their statistics of the alleged harm from unauthorized music filesharing. The reality is that it is the ongoing transition to downloads (#1 Apple's iTunes, #2 eMusic) and big-box stores (#1 Wal-Mart, #2 Best Buy) that is the major influence.

A Canadian Press article says that, "HMV bought a full-page ad in the music magazine Billboard to laud superstar acts for refusing to go along with similar arrangements in Canada and asks that musicians refuse any distribution offers that would cut out traditional retailers."

Predictable positions from subset of stakeholders at Brussels telecommunication/copyright event.

Michael Geist has posted an article "The Battle Over Internet Filtering" where he discusses a seminar in Brussels on the "telecoms package" currently before the European Parliament. He listed out some of the views of the stakeholders on issues like DRM, "three strikes and you're out" policies ("graduated response") , "technical mandates", ISP filtering/blocking of infringing content, and stronger cross-border enforcement initiatives (ACTA).

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Big Media Strikes Again with iPhone

John C. Dvorak offered a similar rant as part of the TWIT show, so it is great to see he did it in text for PC magazine.

The journalism community in general—and tech journalists in particular—discourage free enterprise and real competition. They are the worst kind of bandwagon-hoppers and hero-worshippers. No wonder the public does not think highly of the profession.
The irony is that giving too much attention to Microsoft allowed the company to take over the place; there was nobody left to actually advertise, and all the computer magazines shrank in size. Everyone then blamed the Internet.

Burnaby-Douglas MP Bill Siksay on Bill C-61

Burnaby-Douglas Link is a monthly publication produced by Hon. MP Bill Siksay's office and is sent to every household in the Burnaby-Douglas riding. On the front cover of Burnaby-Douglas Link's July 2008 issue (png image), MP Siksay discusses in length the negative impacts that Bill C-61 will bring upon Canadians and describes his position on the said bill. The following is a text copy.

Dear Friends,

As I write, Parliament has just recessed for the summer.

Competition Bureau Publishes Bulletin on Abuse of Dominance in the Telecommunications Industry

This Bulletin outlines how the Bureau would address issues related to anti-competitive conduct in the telecommunications industry under the abuse of dominance provisions of the Competition Act in markets no longer subject to regulation by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

An ideal future communications infrastructure, how do we get there, and what is stopping us!

Whenever the discussion of "Net Neutrality" comes up we often get stuck with how the current network is configured, who provides it, and other historical issues. I would like to toss out that history for a moment and offer what I believe to be an ideal, talk about transition issues, as well as some of winners and losers in that transition (and thus who the greatest opponents are)

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada »

Heritage Minister Josée Verner stirs debate on TV fees

According to a Globe and Mail article by Grant Roberson, Heritage Minister Josée Verner waded into the highly charged battle over additional fees for television channels distributed by cable and satellite distributors. As an outsider, this seems to be a form of the same debate we are seeing with the Net neutrality.

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